RELATIVE PRONOUNS who, which, that, whose, whom


Hi everyone! Welcome to today's lesson, I'm Arnel. Today we're going to look at relative

pronouns. Who, which, that, whose, and whom. What about where, when, and why?

Those are relative adverbs. Today we're going to stick to relative pronouns. And we're also going

to look at relative clauses. Relative clauses are also called adjective clauses, same thing.

There's going to be a lot of information today, so at the end of this lesson I have

a mini test for you. Let's start. Let's start with an overview, I have three sentences.

Each sentence has a relative pronoun. Who, which, that. What about whose, and whom? Don't

worry, we'll get to that later. The relative pronoun is the head of the relative clause.

Each relative clause has a subject and a verb. You can see in my first example

the relative pronoun is the subject. More on that later.

The relative clause always goes after the noun it is describing. Man, cake, email. Keep

these basic points in mind because you'll see this repeated again and again in today's lesson.

How do I know when to use who, which, that, or whose? I think we need a chart.

What relative pronoun do I need?

That, is always less formal and more common in spoken English. Which, is slightly more formal.

I had a friend who could speak six languages. I had a friend that could speak six languages.

I bought a blanket which glows in the dark. I bought a blanket that glows in the dark.

I spoke to a friend whose uncle is a lawyer.

Possessive can be a bit confusing, but think about it like this: I spoke to a friend, his uncle is a

lawyer. Same thing. We can also use who's for things, not just people. It was a beautiful hotel whose

lobby looked like a palace. It was a beautiful hotel, its lobby looked like a palace. Same thing.

My neighbor has a dog who constantly barks. So annoying. Yes, sometimes for pets we do

use witch or that. Giant pandas, which are endangered, can spend 10 hours a day eating.

Animals that have hair or fur are called mammals.

Remember earlier in the lesson I said: Relative clauses are also called adjective clauses. Same

thing. That's really important. We need to take a look at adjectives just for a sec. Two sentences:

The big car is mine. I have my adjective, big, it helps describe the car. These beautiful flowers are

for my mom. Beautiful is my adjective, it describes flowers. Which noun, which adjective is necessary?

The first one, right? If i remove big, the sentence is grammatically correct, but

you don't know which car I'm talking about. It's necessary, it helps identify the car.

Beautiful is optional. If I remove it there is no confusion. Necessary information, optional.

Not necessary information, necessary. Not necessary. In English, relative clauses that provide

necessary information are called defining relative clauses. They help to identify the noun.

Relative clauses that give extra or interesting information, are called non-defining relative

clauses. In your grammar books these clauses might be called restrictive or non-restrictive.

Same thing. We normally need defining relative clauses because there is more than one thing.

Let's compare. The printer that or which is next to the door, can only print in black and white.

The printer, which is ancient and needs to be thrown away, can only print in black and white.

I need the names of all the people who were here last night. I didn't speak to Ed who was working in

a different room. So what makes a clause defining or non-defining? Look at the first sentence. There

are two printers. If I remove the relative clause, you don't know which printer I'm talking about.

Imagine a conversation with a person who always removed the defining relative clause.

The email had a mistake in it. Which email, was this from yesterday?

Food is bad for you. Oh, no. I actuallyfood is important, it's important for ourI hate people!


Okay. You can see the sentences here. Obviously something is missing. The email that, or which,

you sent me last night had a mistake in it. Now it's clear. Food that or which is high in sodium,

is bad for you. Oh! Now I get it. I hate people who walk super slowly and take up the whole sidewalk.

Excuse me. Oh, I'm sorry. Excuse me. Can I get. Oh, can I just get

Okay. So it's clear, we need our defining relative clauses. Let's go back to comparing.

If I remove my non-defining relative clause, it doesn't matter. You still

know which printer I'm referring to. Here, I'm just giving you extra information.

Do you notice any other differences between defining and non-defining relative clauses?

Commas. We always need commas to separate our non-defining relative clauses. Think

of the commas like handles. So you can easily remove the clause if you want.

You can also see I haven't used that after

my comma. Rule: Do not use that in a non-defining relative clause. It doesn't

matter if you're speaking about a person or a thing. Do not use that after a comma.

But this whole comma rule is only important in

written English, right? In spoken English there are no commas.

Yes. In spoken English there are no commas. But if we give not essential information

we would still use which. Or when we're speaking, sometimes we add a little pause. That pause is

kind of like our comma. My boss decided to end the workday early because of the blizzard,

which i thought was a good idea. My teacher gave us a lot of homework for the weekend, which was unfair.

I have my relative pronoun the relative clause, and the comma. Fantastic.

The blizzard was a good idea? The weekend was unfair? We can use which in a non-defining relative

clause, to refer back to the entire sentence. Or the entire situation. My boss allowing people

to leave work early, so they can drive home safely. That was a good idea. Not the blizzard.

My teacher giving us a lot of homework on a Friday. I mean that, that whole idea was unfair. Wow! There's

already been a lot of information. I think we need a mini review. We use, who or that for people.

Which or that, for things. Who's possessive for people, but sometimes things as well. When it comes

to animals, normally we use which or that. But we often use who for pets, because it's a little bit more

personal, right? And your relative clause always goes directly after the noun it is describing.

Okay. Defining relative clauses give us necessary information, they help identify the noun.

Non-defining relative clauses give us extra interesting information. We need commas to separate

our non-defining relative clause. Do not use, that, in a non-defining relative clause. And we can use,

which, in a non-defining relative clause. To refer back to the entire idea before it. Let's keep going.

Okay. The good news is we can forget about non-defining relative clauses.

We need to focus on the defining clauses. I have two sentences here:

Are the relative pronouns the subject or the object of the clause?

In my first example, it's the object. How do I know that? Because look at the verb in the clause.

Brought. You brought. What? You brought the amazing dish. It's the object.

In my second example, it's the subject of the clause. My verb is have. The lines have an x on them.

Why is this important? Subject? Object? Because we can remove the relative pronoun if it's

the object of the relative clause. We can't remove the subject, it's too important. So in sentence one,

people are still talking about the amazing dish you brought to my party. That's perfectly correct.

Please sign the lineshave an x on them? Very unnatural. Your turn.

I have three sentences here, which relative pronoun can I remove? Pause the video if you need to

We can remove the second one, it's the object of the clause. Where is the hat I bought you? Is

perfectly correct. In the first sentence it's the subject. And for sentence number three, you might be

thinking: Relative pronoun, subject, verb, fantastic! I can remove it. We never remove whose. Because whose

hair is the subject of the clause. Her hair. Let's do another one. Which relative pronoun can I remove?

I can remove the second one because it's the object of the clause.

Who or whom? I know who or whom is a big topic. But when it comes to relative clauses and

relative pronouns, it's pretty simple. Who is a subject form, whom is the object form. I think

we need a few more examples. Let's take a look: Jared was a prisoner who always broke the rules.

Jared was a prisoner whom everyone feared. This is my grandma who makes the world's best cheesecake.

This is my grandma whom you spoke to earlier. Who is the subject of the clause because it's

clearly the subject of the verbs, broke and makes. Jared broke the rules. My grandma makes the cakes.

Whom is the object of the verbs, feared and spoke. Everyone feared Jared.

You spoke to my grandma earlier. We can remove the first whom, but we can't remove the second.

Why? Because it's part of a non-defining relative clause. Keep an eye out for those commas.

I have to say whom is slowly disappearing from the English language.

In spoken English especially,

it's not very common to hear whom. You might see in written English, which is

great. But generally when people are speaking, they either say who or that. Are you ready for a test?

Okay. Can you complete each space with a relative pronoun?

Yes. There can be more than one answer possible, and look out for those commas.

Okay. You can see in answer number six I have who in parentheses.

Technically, whom is the correct answer. But most native speakers would actually just use who.

Now which one of these relative pronouns can you remove? There's only one.

We can remove that in number five. That or which, because it's the object of my clause.

I can't remove the other pronouns. They are either the subject of the clause,

or they're part of a non-defining relative clause.

So, let me know in the comments how you did on the test. Thank you so much for watching today, I really

appreciate you guys watching my videos, and I can't wait to make another one for you. Thank you! Bye!!!